Router not working? Here are five quick DIY troubleshooting tips Category: Blog


Having your internet access stop working can be frustrating — but if it happens to you, there’s a good chance that you’ve simply experienced a minor glitch in your router that can be easily fixed. Here are five easy things you can do yourself before picking up the phone and calling for help.

The first step: Power-cycle your router. “Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?” has practically become a tech-support cliché. But there’s a reason this is the first thing you should try if your router has stopped working: after extended operation, your router really can develop minor problems that are easily solved by restarting the device. Just unplug the power cable, wait 10 seconds — this is because the capacitors in an electronic device can carry a residual charge that keeps it powered for a few seconds even after you unplug it — and then plug the cable back in again. Wait for the router’s indicator lights to come back on, then try connecting again.

If that doesn’t work: Check all your cables. A coaxial cable that isn’t screwed in all the way can easily work itself loose. Or someone might have accidentally pulled on a cable or bumped the router while vacuuming, causing a cable to come unplugged. Check anyplace there’s a connection: not just the spot where the cable plugs into your router itself, but any other place where a plug could have gotten disturbed, like a wall jack or a signal splitter.

Make sure it’s not overheating. Electronic devices can overheat, causing damage. Place your hand on the router and see if it’s hot. If it is, the air vents that keep its components cool might be blocked. A router that has overheated may be permanently damaged and need to be replaced, but first, try positioning it in the open where air can easily flow through its vents and see if that makes it perform better.

Plug your computer directly into your Internet source. Whether it’s a modem or a wall jack, connect it directly to your computer using an Ethernet cable. If you still can’t connect, you probably have a problem with your Internet connection; if you can, the problem is with your router.

If your Wifi signal is spotty, try repositioning the router. Your router can be working perfectly, but you still won’t get a good wireless signal if it’s positioned wrong. Your router should be out in the open (not tucked in a cabinet or a closet). If you want to be able to connect from anywhere in your house, it should be as centrally located as possible. And if it has an external antenna, make sure it’s extended and pointing up. (See our previous blog post, Eight Ways to Speed Up your Wifi at Home, for tips on improving your wireless network.)

Why you should have a password on your wireless router Category: Blog


Do you have a wireless router in your home? If you do, is it password-protected?

Just like you wouldn’t let a stranger use your email account or borrow your driver’s license, you shouldn’t leave your home wi-fi unprotected. Keep reading to find out why … and how you can keep your wireless connection private.

Why does it matter?

There are three main reasons to keep your wireless router protected by a password.

  1. It saves your bandwidth. If your router is unprotected, anyone within range can use your internet connection and hog your bandwidth, making your internet connection much slower. If you live in a town, you could easily have a dozen neighbors within range of your wireless signal — plus anyone who happens to be driving or walking by. That’s a lot of potential for people to leech off of the internet connection that you’re paying for.
  2. To the rest of the internet, anyone using your wi-fi looks like you. Every internet user has a unique address, known as an IP address, that can be used to identify them. Anyone who connects to the internet using your router will have the same IP address as you — which means that if they do anything illicit or illegal, it will look like you’re the one responsible. People who plan to commit crimes online have been known to seek out unsecured wi-fi connections to cover their tracks, so leaving your router unsecured puts you at risk of being blamed for something you didn’t do.
  3. An unsecured router gives hackers one more weakness to exploit. Just leaving your router unprotected generally isn’t enough to give the average passerby access to your computer, but it is a vulnerability that a smart hacker can find a way to use — and you don’t want to give identity thieves any more opportunities than they already have.

How do I tell if my Wi-Fi is unsecured?

When you go to connect your computer or smartphone to your home’s wi-fi, you’ll see a list of available networks. If a picture of a lock appears next to your home network’s name, it has a password set. If there’s no lock, it’s open and anyone can access it.

How do I set my password?

This varies depending on what kind of router you have, but the owner’s manuals for some of the most common wireless routers can be found on the D&P Communications Help Guides page. If you don’t see your router listed, and you can’t find your owner’s manual, don’t worry — you will almost certainly be able to find a downloadable owner’s manual for your router by typing its name (such as “Linksys E1200”) into Google.

What else can I do?

Setting a password isn’t the only way to make your home wi-fi network more secure. If your network’s name includes the brand name of your router — such as Linksys or Netgear — change it to something else. Knowing what kind of router you’re using gives would-be hackers one more tool to use against you.

Another option, if you only use a few devices (such as computers or smartphones) to connect to the internet and you don’t plan to use anything else in the near future, is to program your router to only accept connections from those specific devices. Every device has a unique identifier known as a MAC address, and you can set your router to only accept connections from MAC addresses it “knows.” This adds a layer of security, but also can be inconvenient, because if you buy a new computer or phone, bring a laptop home from work, or have a guest who needs to use your network, your router’s settings will need to be changed before you can connect any new device.

Finally, make sure your password is something hard to guess. Passwords like “admin,” “password,” “qwerty,” and “123456” are among the first things a hacker will try if they’re trying to gain unauthorized access to your network. Using your children’s names or your high school mascot is also a bad idea. Pick something that’s easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to figure out based on readily available information about you.

Never mail us another check again! Category: Blog


Did you know that you can receive and pay your D & P Communications phone, internet and cable bill electronically? Say goodbye to stamps and envelopes — you don’t need them when you can pay your bill online anytime. By default, we mail your bill to you, but that’s easy to change. Through our website, you can sign up to receive your statements by email every month.

How to sign up for paperless statements

  1. Go to d-pcomm.com. On a computer, hover over “My D & P” in the upper right corner of your screen and click on “My account.” On your phone, look for the red bar just below the D & P logo and click on the white menu icon; “My account” will be near the bottom.
  2. On the next page, you’ll see a box labeled “Existing Users” and a box labeled “New Users.” If you have not previously registered to access your D & P account online, go to the “New Users” box and click “Register.”
  3. You will be asked to input your account number, your service ID. Both of these can be found on your statement: if you have phone service with us, your service ID will just be your phone number without dashes. Otherwise, it will be your phone number and begin with a “C”, “I”, “W” or “T” and can be found on page 3 of your statement, It will also ask for the account holder’s last name, and your last statement balance.
  4. Once you have registered, click on “My online profile,” then change the “Bill delivery” dropdown menu from “Paper” to “Electronic.”
  5. From this point on, instead of receiving your bill in the mail, you will get an email once a month telling you your statement is ready to view.

How to sign up for automatic payments

  1. Log in to your account through d-pcomm.com (if you haven’t registered yet, see steps 1-3 above).
  2. Click on the “Payments” tab and find the “Auto Payments” button; the system will walk you through all the steps needed to set it up. You will need to provide a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover Card number.
  3. Your card will automatically be charged for the full amount of your current bill on the 15th day of every month.

How to use Quick Pay

You don’t need to be signed up for paperless statements to pay your bill online. Here’s how to pay your bill with just a few short steps.

  1. Go to d-pcomm.com. On a computer, hover over “My D & P” and then click on “Online Bill Pay.” On your phone, use the menu icon just below the D & P logo and find “Online Bill Pay” near the bottom of the menu.
  2. Underneath the “Quick Pay” heading, enter your account number and service ID. Both of these can be found on your statement: if you have phone service with us, your service ID will just be your phone number without dashes. Otherwise, it will be your phone number and begin with a “C”, “I”, “W” or “T” and can be found on page 3 of your statement,
  3. Again, you can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover to pay your bill.

By going paperless and paying your bill online, you can save time, energy, and paper!

D&P Channel 22: LISD TV puts our community in the spotlight Category: Blog


Have you turned to Channel 22 lately? If you have, you know that it’s not your average public access channel.

In Lenawee County, Channel 22 is the home of LISD TV, a 24-hour channel operated by students at the Lenawee Intermediate School District. D & P Communications is proud to be associated with the channel, which puts Lenawee County in the spotlight with high-quality, locally produced shows.

When it began about six years ago, Channel 22 was little more than a community calendar. Now it’s a full-fledged TV station, and you’ll be hard-pressed to notice much difference between LISD TV and the professionally produced shows you see on commercial channels.

Under the guidance of a small professional staff, led by broadcast TV veteran Kelly Heidbreder, the students who operate LISD TV travel around Lenawee County covering topics of interest. They are involved in every aspect of production: behind the camera, in front of the camera, and editing the footage for broadcast.

Recent topics have included severe weather preparedness and downtown Adrian’s Artalicious festival, as well as numerous programs about events taking place in Lenawee County schools.

Early last year, LISD TV launched the Lenawee Sports Network. Students record sporting events around the county and provide the play-by-play commentary; those games are then broadcast on Channel 22 and uploaded to the station’s YouTube channel. D & P is proud to be the major underwriter of Lenawee Sports Network, providing quality local sports programming to subscribers.

You can find LISD TV programs online by searching YouTube for LISD or the Lenawee Sports Network or by going to tinyurl.com/LISDTV22. You can also visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/LISDTV22 or follow them on Twitter at @LISDTV.

In addition to being an educational experience for the students running the station, LISD TV and the Lenawee Sports Network help spread the word about the great things happening in Lenawee County and our local school districts. D & P Communications is happy to be partnering with the LISD to shine this spotlight on our community. As your locally owned cable, phone and internet company, we take pride in our roots and in doing everything we can to help our community prosper.

If you attend one of the games being covered by the Lenawee Sports Network, you’re likely to see the D & P banner and broadcasters wearing their D & P shirts. We hope you will come up and say hello!